April 1, 2020

Multiple Swastikas Found on Smith College Campus

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Several swastikas were found on three different buildings at Smith College, an all-women’s school in Northampton, Mass. on Oct. 24.

The swastikas were drawn in red marker on the walls of two science buildings – Burton and Bass Hall – as well as Seelye Hall, which houses various classrooms and faculty offices. There were eight swastikas total and have all been removed, according to Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

College President Kathleen McCartney said in an Oct. 24 statement to the community that she was “sickened” and “angry” about the vandalism. 

“I condemn in the strongest terms this act of hatred and cowardice,” McCartney said. “I also recognize that these are not just marks on a wall but attacks on our community and the values we hold central to our shared humanity. Hate has no place at Smith.”

She added that the college is focused on ensuring “the safety and wellbeing of everyone in our community, especially members of the Jewish community and so many others for whom this symbol is an act of violence and an erasure of identity.”

The Smith College Jewish Community thanked everyone who showed support for the Jewish community in the aftermath of the vandalism in an Oct. 27 Facebook post.

“We are incredibly grateful for the swift and vocal condemnation from the community and the rapid response from the administration, and we hope this trend of immediate action and solidarity continues whenever instances of hate and violence against any marginalized group occur in the future,” the post read. “We stand with everyone impacted by the events of last week, including all students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and all those harmed by white supremacy.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted, “No one should be subjected to #antiSemitism on any college campus. If you see #antiSemitic imagery, such as the swastikas found on Smith College, speak out.”